Looking for places to eat in Padstow? In this article we will discover 12 of the best restaurants in Padstow; one of the most charming British towns located on the north coast of Cornwall.
There are so many incredible restaurants in Padstow, you won’t want to miss out on those that are both famous as well as the little hole-in-the-wall spots.
This list covers everything delicious in this tiny Cornwall town.
Best Local Food in Padstow
Padstow is a thriving fishing town with the harbour right at the centre of life. So, it’s no surprise that seafood features heavily on the town’s menus. Padstow sits right on the banks of the Camel Estuary which is famed for its locally grown Porthilly mussels and other seafood.
Lobster and crab are staples of any restaurant menu in Cornwall. You will not fail to notice the old crab and lobster pots on fishing boats and on the harbour walls. These crustaceans are caught all along the coastline here and delivered fresh to the markets and restaurants daily.
And it’s not possible to mention Padstow without talking a little about the town’s most famous son; television chef, author and world traveller Rick Stein. In fact, he is so ubiquitous that some locals even refer to the place as “Padstein”.
Stein is involved in at least four Padstow restaurants including his flagship Seafood Restaurant, Rick Stein’s Café and his fish and chip shop among others.
But seafood isn’t the only culinary delight you can expect in Padstow. From local cheeses, cream teas and meats, to Cornish beers and wines, there is something here to suit every taste!
So, now that we have whet your appetite, let’s dive right in and discover the best restaurants in Padstow.
Best Padstow Restaurants
These are the absolute best restaurants in Padstow that you won’t want to miss on a trip to this entire region of the country.
Read More: The Best Towns in Cornwall
1. The Seafood Restaurant (aka Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant)
The Seafood Restaurant has been serving customers since 1975, making it one of Padstow’s oldest restaurants. However, there is nothing stuffy or stale about the freshly caught seafood served here! Holidaymakers and locals alike have been coming back year after year.
You can feast on expertly prepared oysters, langoustines and lobster at the seafood bar or opt for upstairs seating with perfect views overlooking the estuary.
The catch is supplied by Porthilly Shellfish on the Camel Estuary, so you can’t get more local than that. For those who prefer something a little less extravagant, the menu includes staples including salmon, Dover sole, halibut and monkfish.
Although much of the menu is locally caught, the chefs prepare a range of flavours such as Singapore chilli crab and other Asian delights, no doubt influenced by Stein’s travels.
Opening times: Daily 12:00 to 22:00
2. Rick Stein’s Café
For those looking for something a little less formal, Rick Stein’s Café is a great place to indulge in the same standard of freshly prepared seafood, but with a more relaxed feel and a little lighter on the wallet.
The café serves breakfasts, lunches and dinners so you can enjoy a bite at any time of the day. Specialities include salmon fish cakes, sea bass fillet with hot sweet chilli sauce and grilled hake with spring onion mash.
This family-friendly café in the heart of Padstow is a staple of the town and serves only the freshest, locally caught produce.
Opening times: Thursday to Monday 12:00 to 21:00
3. The Mussel Box
A relative newcomer on the Padstow restaurant scene, the Mussel Box specialises in, you guessed it, mussels (grown in the nearby Camel Estuary). From classic moules mariniere to spicy curries or chilli mussels, this is THE place to come for a taste of the sea.
But that’s not all, the menu also includes a good selection of fish dishes (including traditional fish and chips) as well as steaks, burgers and pasta. All of which can be washed down by plenty of Cornish beverages served on-site.
The Mussel box also offers a takeaway service with food served in environmentally friendly containers to be enjoyed on the harbour wall if you are looking for a truly al-fresco experience!
Please note: The Mussel Box is now card only and cash is not accepted.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 21:00
4. Paul Ainsworth at No 6
This is the only Michelin Starred Padstow restaurant and a great choice for that special occasion! Specialising in classic dishes with a contemporary twist, the chefs here serve the freshest, locally sourced Cornish produce.
From the cod, seaweed quaver and Camel Valley velouté to the wild turbot with mash and onion gravy, your tastebuds are sure to thank you for a visit.
The four-course menu will set you back £120 ($157.00) per person, so this is not one of the cheapest restaurants in Padstow, but if you are looking for a touch of elegance for your evening, then this is definitely the place to be.
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner (no set times)
5. Prawn on the Lawn (Currently Prawn on the Farm)
This is the baby sister to London’s Prawn on the Lawn and has been open since 2015. PotL is famed for its excellent shellfish platters with Cornish lobster and crab the staples of the menu.
Add to that seared tuna, mackerel, sardines and Porthilly mussels, and you can eat like a Cornish king.
Prawn on the Lawn has a new temporary home at Trerethern Farm on the outskirts of Padstow, and will be operating from the farm until October 2nd 2022. From October 6th the restaurant will return to its original address in central Padstow (see below for locations).
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 to 22:30
Prawn on the Lawn: Find it on Google here.
Prawn on the Farm: Find it on Google here.
6. St. Petroc’s Bistro
If you are looking for a little French Mediterranean flavour, then you can’t go wrong with St. Petroc’s charming bistro housed inside a beautiful townhouse above the harbour. There are terraces to the front and back for summer al-fresco dining.
St. Petroc’s falls under the umbrella of Rick Stein (the town is not known locally as “Padstein” for nothing)! The menu is simple, classic bistro fayre with an emphasis on seafood and grilled meats.
Crab linguine, deep-fried squid, grilled scallops, chargrilled tuna steak and whole grilled Padstow lobster are just a few of the mouth-watering options from the menu. If you are looking to take a break from seafood, then indulge in a steak from Philip Warren’s butcher in nearby Launceston.
Given its quaint location and sumptuous grills, St. Petroc’s is definitely one of the best restaurants in Padstow.
Opening times: Daily 12:00 to 21:00
7. The Golden Lion Hotel
Are you hankering for some traditional “pub grub”? Then look no further than the Golden Lion.
With an envious location right on the harbourfront, this traditional British pub is a must-visit for anyone coming to Padstow! They are well-known for their steaks and all the meat is sourced from Phillip Warren’s in the Cornish town of Launceston.
Here you can expect a lot of pub classics from burgers and fish and chips to the traditional ploughman’s lunch with Davidstow (Cornish) cheddar cheese.
With inside and outside dining in the heart of town, this is certainly one of the best restaurants Padstow has to offer!
Follow the Golden Lion’s Instagram Page for their latest menus.
Opening times: Daily 11:30 until late
8. Greens of Padstow
If it’s panoramic views you are after while you eat, Greens is definitely one of the best places to eat in Padstow thanks to its location high above the harbour and overlooking the Camel Estuary and town.
The menu focuses on fresh, locally caught fish such as Cornish plaice, monkfish and hake. There is also a great selection of steaks, pasta and sides. The prices are very reasonable given the outstanding location and there is both indoor and outdoor dining.
Greens also have their own mini-golf garden so if you fancy a “put” before your meal, then this is the place for you!
Opening times: Sundays and Mondays 10:00 to 17:00, Wednesday to Saturday 10:00 to 22:00
9. The Old Custom House
The Old Custom House is another of Padstow’s beautiful old public houses with a restaurant serving a great variety of seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients. The pub itself is tied to St Austel Brewery; Cornwall’s number one beer-maker!
The Old Custom House serves more than the average traditional pub meals and instead opts for a contemporary menu including dishes such as torched mackerel salad, prosciutto-wrapped chicken and roasted butternut squash.
This is one of the best places to eat in Padstow thanks to its well-thought-out menu and a fantastic location right on the harbour.
Opening times: Daily 11:00 to 22:0
10. The Ivy House Restaurant
The Ivy House is located in the small village of St Merryn, a few miles west of Padstow but is definitely worth the short drive. The restaurant is housed in a grand old ivy-covered lodge with indoor and outdoor dining.
The menu is simple with lots of classics such as fish tikka and duck confit. The reasonable prices, lively atmosphere and picturesque location means that the Ivy House consistently gets top reviews from diners.
Opening times: Daily from lunch until late
Barnaby’s is owned by the same people as Prawn on the Lawn, so you can expect a similar calibre of fresh, locally sourced ingredients and attention to detail. The best thing about Barnaby’s though is that it is all based around sharing; so if there is a group of you, this is one of the best restaurants in Padstow for its convivial atmosphere.
The restaurant bills itself as “relaxed, intimate and fun – just as if you were around a friend’s for dinner” and we think this a fab concept. Rather like tapas in Spain, there is nothing better than ordering lots of dishes and scooping a forkful of something appetising from another plate!
The crab, mackerel, oysters and scallops are all locally caught, and the pork chops and ribeye steaks are sourced from Phillip Warren’s butchers in Cornwall’s county-town Launceston.
The small plate portions are excellent for sharing, but if you really want to be a party-pooper and have your own plate, you can order a large dish.
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 to 23:00
12. Burgers and Fish
Burgers and Fish is a hip, gourmet restaurant and one of the best places to eat in Padstow thanks to its gourmet burgers and interesting selection of fish dishes.
Open “from noon ‘till night”, this centrally located eatery is fast becoming one of the town’s most popular hangouts for the young and trendy looking for their burger fix.
The new menu for 2022 includes mussels with local cider, grilled octopus with mash and a new Mr Porky burger with juicy bbq meat!
Some of the unique burger creations on offer include the Diablito; with chilli con carne, jalapenos and sour cream, or the Beetroot Blues with pickled beets and Cornish cheese sauce.
As the name gives away, it’s not just burgers on the menu and seafood lovers can look forward to dishes such as baked cod, beer-battered fish or pan-fried hake.
And let’s not forget about deserts. Burgers and Fish have a sumptuous dessert menu with mouth-watering sweets that include salted caramel waffles, basque cheesecake and chocolate brownie sundaes!
Burgers and Fish is definitely one of the best restaurants in Padstow for burger-lovers.
Opening times: Daily 12:00 to 21:30